As we look forward to the construction of the new Pleasant Hill Library, we also prepare for the final closure of the old library on June 3 at 6 p.m.

The building at 1750 Oak Park has served the Pleasant Hill community well since opening to the public in 1961. So many people have made lasting memories beneath its light-filled rotunda. Now it’s time to bid farewell and we invite you to say goodbye, too.

Starting next week, a "farewell trellis" will be set up on the patio of the library. We invite you to come and leave a goodbye message, tie a ribbon, a balloon, or a paper flower. For everyone's safety, please bring your own string, stapler or tape to attach items to the trellis. The colorful display of offerings will be visible from the street, but we encourage you to take a photo and post online to spread the sentiment. #PHLfarewell

While you're at the library we also invite you to pick up a classic yellow bookend. They have been sanitized and will be on the library patio. The bookends have graced the shelves for over half a century. They can serve as mementos and we hope one will find a new home on your shelf. We’d love to see you decorate a bookend with paint, yarn, or stickers and post to social media. #PHLfarewell

The trellis and bookends will be available June 1 through 20. Come by to show your love, leave an offering, and take a piece of the old library home.

 

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While we wait for this crisis to end...

Quietly Abundant Gratitude

By Julie McPherson

This post was all Patrick Remer’s idea. Because what can anyone say at a time like this? Everything is just so heavy. And yet, to look outside at a pristine spring day, at a still, serene world that looks so beautiful and so ripe with possibility. The mountain is still green, deep into spring. All around us, our environment is all verdant and bursting forth, while we are sheltered in place, tethered to our immediate vicinity, distanced from each other.

This week, if life were normal, I would have been winding up a busy spring break with my son, juggling the work in two graduate school classes with launching the two-week Valhalla Elementary Read-a-thon fundraiser and literacy event. I planned for this event (my first time running it) for over a year, writing up a lengthy marketing proposal as a project for library school. Pleasant Hill Library’s amazing Patrick Remer was scheduled to perform two launch assemblies on Monday April 13, and the Friends of the Pleasant Hill Library and The Multicultural Children’s Book Store promised to supply our prizes: 10 bookstore gift certificates. The Multicultural Children’s Book Store was also going to host a Valhalla storytime and donate a percentage of the day’s profit to our school. I would’ve hung the first Read-a-thon banner outside of the school on March 21. I would right now be assembling press kits for the teachers, and I would be frantically adhering 578 stickers to 578 notebooks, one for every Valhalla Elementary student in which they could track their time spent reading.

Instead, I squirreled away that banner, those stickers and posters and I am instead posting to social media all the “would have beens” as a public gesture of gratitude to those willing to support my son’s school community. And those 578 students? They aren’t likely to see each other until the start of the next school year, if we are lucky.

Down By The Bay

Staying home on Fridays is the hardest when I wish I were at the library dancing with my friends. Here's a storytime classic, because your librarians miss you!

Posted by Pleasant Hill Library on Thursday, April 2, 2020

In some ways, I knew balancing my April agenda would have been a challenge and so the unexpected closing of my son’s school for the rest of the academic year and the subsequent canceling of the Read-a-thon, I’ll admit, lifted a logistical puzzle from my shoulders. Instead we are all shouldering this unbearable weight of this global pandemic. Of people sheltering in place; of instability and uncertainty; of job loss and academic gains lost; of sickness; of death; of very real and very appropriate fear the likes of which most of us have never known. There is so much loss. And yet…

How can a global pandemic be both tragic and enriching?

Don’t get me wrong: the sickness and death toll that this virus is inflicting is beyond tragic. It is unfathomably heartbreaking. There is nothing that can sugar-coat or gloss over this part of the COVID-19 pandemic. And I cannot even imagine how those with sick or deceased loved ones must be feeling and experiencing, especially when held at social distancing’s length.

When I stop to think, with a dose of sobering humility, about my own set of circumstances, for which I am immeasurably grateful, I realize that it is possible for me to create the following light-hearted list at how losses and gains can balance each other out. Note the emphasis here is on light-hearted.

I know I am incredibly blessed and incredibly fortunate. And part of the reason I am humbled by my good fortune is because I have a daily gratitude practice, verbally with my family and journaled for myself, that changes how I see the world. It shifts my perspective toward the little glimmers of goodness in each and every day.

Oren Jay Sofer, a meditation teacher I have turned toward in this difficult time (check out his resources for COVID-19), pointed out in my meditation last night that “gratitude is a quiet kind of pleasure”, a “subtle enjoyment”. He points out that we only need to be open to allowing ourselves to “fully receive the nourishment of gratitude.” The meditation concludes with Oren explaining this:

You don’t have to do anything to feel gratitude. Simply bring your attention to a specific moment and let your attention dwell there and the heart will naturally find gratitude. Taking the time to practice gratitude in [a] very deliberate, intentional way helps our minds learn how to access the positive emotion of gratitude, and strengthen it.

If ever a time has called for a daily gratitude practice, it is now. We have done thankfuls with my son every night before bed for the past four years. Some days our lists are abundantly long: each other, our house, a full fridge, virtual piano lessons, holding hands, the rebroadcast of Klay Thompson’s 60-point game. Some days they are brief: each other, that it is bedtime. But at the end of the day there is always something for which to be grateful. Here is a sample of my ongoing COVID-19 thankfuls:

During this pandemic I am thankful for:
Essential service providers
My family’s health (and parents who reluctantly follow our requests to actually shelter in place and wear face masks)
A tri-level house, one floor for each person
That my mom’s house has enough room for all of us, should all else fall apart
Technology that enables us to see each other while we talk to each other
Social media that fosters connectivity
Bandwidth, like actual bandwidth
Reading and piano playing (and always and forever, Monica at Village Music for letting me get my son’s’ new lesson books hours before the shelter-in-place took effect)
Role models like Steph Curry with his Instagram interview with Dr. Fauci and his thanking nurses at Alta Bates (and giving us “Control your WABA”)
Our resilience and creativity
All the laughter in our family. So. Much. Laughter.
A heart that swells and opens over and over again
The fortitude to be still and cry as needed

I asked my son–after we rewatched for the bazillionth time the just-released Twenty One Pilots single called “Level of Concern”, a reflection of our current reality–what his favorite thing was about our day. He looked up pointed to our rainbow scavenger hunt artwork. I had needed a ploy to get him out of the house (he’s not much for exercise) and so I devised a rainbow scavenger hunt for us to collect at least one item for every color of the rainbow: we were taking a walk with good ole ROY G. BIV. He wailed in protest when I first mentioned it. I remained firm and agreed to his stipulation that if we found one thing that had all seven colors we could immediately return home. Armed with that quick escape, he hopped on his bike for our adventure.

We found all sorts of things: new vistas in our neighborhood that reminded us of the Big Island of Hawaii (there’s Mauna Loa behind that tree); where the sidewalk ends; new perspectives of the Gregory Gardens Reservoir & Pump Station (it’s so big and so little). My son tasted honeysuckle nectar for the first time, fell off his bike laughing at least three times, and split a rock just by dropping it. We managed to find all seven colors. And then some. Together, out in the still, quiet world of our immediate neighborhood, we collected so much beauty.

And so on this day, that is one of the main things we are thankful for: our rainbow scavenger hunt. And tomorrow it will be homemade brown sugar vanilla bean cookie dough ice cream (hopefully if things come together). And the next day? We’ll see. I know there will be at least one thing, if not many things.

We’ve got this, Pleasant Hill. Even when we don’t. Because we have each other. And because we have an unlimited capacity, if we allow it, for quietly abundant gratitude.

 

Find more library posts by Julie McPherson here.

The Friends of the Library sponsors vital Library Programs

STEAM

(Science Tech Engineering Arts, and Math)

  • Maker Mondays
  • Super Slime Lab
  • Tiny Terrariums
  • Junkyard Derby
  • Flight Night
  • Tinkers and Thinkers Faire - Engaging over 1000 participants with innovative ideas and inventions!

TEENS

FAMILY

CHILDREN

Pop up Programs for Teens: To stimulate our after school crowds, the Friends funded materials to engage youth with crafts, games, technology and more.

Comic Book Night: inspiring young artists and readers with live demos, costumed characters, games, and free comic giveaways.

Concert Series: Live music ranging from jazz to international styles for adult listeners.

Pajama Yoga: evening stories and stretches for young families

Family Nights: monthly shows including live music, magic, and puppet shows

Gingerbread City: our annual winter holiday event drawing over 800 children and families

BOOKS

Over 500 books for collections serving all ages

Pleasant Hill Reads: Friends purchased copies of First Rule of Punk for our annual citywide read which reached 4,000 households in town

Summer Reading Program: extending learning throughout the summer, Friends funded hundreds of prize books for SRP participants.

OverView_17988_Design-Development-Presentation-to-City-Council_031819

The latest on the Oak Park Properties project

new-phlibrary

Councilmembers Harris and Noack, Supervisor Mitchoff to speak about old and new Pleasant Hill Library

Annual-Meeting 2018_FoPHL_T.Flaherty_GWD_0781

Mayor Flaherty Addresses FoPHL Annual Meeting Crowd

Library Hours

Monday
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Tuesday
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Wednesday
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Thursday
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Friday
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Saturday
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Sunday
Closed

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